Liz Truss, a former British trade secretary and Conservative MP, made headlines when she assumed and then resigned from a government post. Her departure from government attracted attention, however Liz Truss tenure as Trade Secretary has left a lasting legacy in the UK cannabis industry.
Truss’ history around cannabis
Truss supported the legalization of medical marijuana during her time as Trade Secretary. She held the position from July 2019 to September 2022. Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in the UK. But, the country legalized it for medicinal purposes in November 2018. Truss was then instrumental in organizing this change in legislation. One of Truss’ most significant contributions to the UK cannabis industry has been her efforts to increase the availability of medical cannabis to patients who need it.
Under current laws, medical marijuana may only be prescribed by medical specialists in limited circumstances. It must be funded privately by the patient or his family. This has hindered access to medical marijuana for many patients who could benefit from its use. Truss worked to make medical marijuana more widely available. Therefore, in 2019 in Canada, she met with cannabis industry leaders and government officials to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.
Canada is surely at the forefront of cannabis legalization. It legalized cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes in 2018. Truss’s visit helped forge ties between the UK and Canadian cannabis industries. There were hopes of creating a more robust medical cannabis supply chain in the UK. Truss also championed the development of the UK’s domestic cannabis industry during her tenure as Trade Secretary. In a speech to the National Farmers’ Union in February 2020, she called on British farmers to realize the potential of cannabis cultivation. She referred to the possible economic benefits from a thriving domestic industry. She also encouraged the government to consider the potential of cannabis exports, which could generate significant revenue for the UK.
Controversies around Truss’ activites for cannabis industry
However, there has been controversy surrounding Truss’s efforts to support the UK cannabis industry. Some critics accused her of being too closely tied to the cannabis industry. They cited her presence at the Conservative Policy Reform Group’s annual dinner in 2019. The group is made up of Conservative MPs and activists who advocate legalizing drugs, including cannabis, for recreational use. Truss’s presence at the event was seen by some as a support for the group’s goals. However, she did not publicly support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Truss’ departure from government has raised questions about the future of the UK cannabis industry.
Her successor as Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has not commented publicly on the legalization of cannabis. It is also unclear whether Truss will continue to work for the cannabis industry. The future of the UK’s cannabis industry remains uncertain. However, this industry continues to grow and evolve. New companies enter the market and existing companies expand their activities. Expectations say that the UK cannabis market will be worth £2.31 billion by 2024. More about current cannabis status in the UK you can find HERE.